Five years after graduating with an English degree and Women's and Gender Studies degree, Katrina Semich finally saw everything fall in to place. This March after receiving her Master's Degree in Public Administration, she secured a position as a development associate with Marie Stopes International-US (MSI-US). Marie Stopes International, one of the largest international family planning organizations in the world, gives some of the poorest and most vulnerable women access to family planning and reproductive healthcare.
As a development associate, Semich supports the MSI-US Development Team through supporting new business development and grants management with existing and new US-based private foundations, partner organizations, and individuals. She is also responsible for helping support private foundation growth and grassroots fundraising. "The best thing about working at Marie Stopes International is contributing to its impact," Semich said. "MSI helps to prevent millions of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, and saves the lives of thousands of women around the world."
It was during her time as a student at UMass Dartmouth that the path to this position began to unfold. "It was through the connections that I made at my internship during my senior year that I had the opportunity to apply for my current position," she said.
During her senior year, Semich interned for the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts, which led to many other opportunities. And it was as a board member for the YWCA, that Semich attended the YWCA Annual Conference and Advocacy Day and learned about the job opening with Marie Stopes International-US.
For Semich, her studies as a Women's and Gender Studies major prepared her to work in the women's health nonprofit sector. She wrote papers on radical feminist theory and abortion, global women's NGOs, and social franchising, which directly relates to her current position with MSI-US. Semich also found her English degree to be pertinent to her current position. "I found that my English degree is indeed a coveted and valuable asset," she said. "Every employer seeks people who can write and communicate well, regardless of the nature of their position."